Top Tory MP invites paedophile business consultant to House of Commons for lunch meetings
- Sir Edward Leigh, 64, held meetings in Westminster with businessman
- Duncan Breeze was jailed after thousands of indecent images were found
- He is now a consultant to a company of which Sir Edward is the chairman
- Meetings in parliament building are not thought to have broken any rules
- Sir Edward has defended relationship and said he believes in ‘redemption’
A top Conservative MP invited a paedophile business consultant to the House of Commons for lunch meetings, it has been reported.
Sir Edward Leigh, 64, held meetings inside Westminster where he entertained an entrepreneur who has been convicted of making thousands of indecent images of children.
Businessman Duncan Breeze was given privileged access to parliament buildings as recently as a few months ago, it has been claimed.
Sir Edward Leigh invited paedophile business consultant Duncan Breeze to the House of Commons for lunch
The 39-year-old was jailed in 2007 for two years after 4,270 ‘sickening’ images of minors were found on his computers and placed on the Sex Offenders Register for 10 years.
Now out of prison, Mr Breeze – once a musician and actor – is a consultant to a company which provides income support for the unemployed, according to the Sunday Mirror.
Sir Edward, who is non-executive chairman for that company, has defended the meetings and there is no suggestion that by doing so broke any rules.
The MP for Gainsborough, Lincolnshire, would have had to approve Breeze’s attendance in the House of Commons under strict security rules, and special pass would have been issued.
He told the newspaper: ‘Duncan Breeze told me he had a conviction. As far as I’m concerned, it is in the past.
‘I believe in redemption and forgiveness. He has served his time. His former life is nothing to do with me.’
Duncan Breeze (pictured in a head shot from his days as an actor, in 2003) was jailed for two years after thousands of indecent images of children were discovered on three computers at his home
Speaking in the House of Commons in July, the former chairman of the Commons public accounts committee, said: ‘Children are targeted in conflict situations for sexual attacks.
‘Girls and boys make up more than half the rape cases in such conflicts and that is an appalling statistic. Imagine the appalling emotional trauma of that.’
Sir Edward, who was knighted in 2013 and has been an MP for over 30 years, has also previously spoken out about ‘soft jail terms’, blasting them as serving ‘little purpose’.
Mr Breeze told The Sunday Mirror that he had met with the politician about three times at his parliamentary office and claims his conviction was raised to him before he did any consultancy work.
He has maintained his innocence since the child pornography was first discovered on devices at his former home in Sandy, Bedfordshire, and his parents’ home in Weston-Super-Mare, Somerset.
Breeze said he had been to meetings at Sir Edward’s office in Westminster on about three occasions
During his trial at Luton Crown Court, the jury was told that images were found on three computers and were made between 2001 and 2004.
He was arrested in 2004 after police were alerted by Croatian law enforcement agencies
Breeze, who now lives in Oxted, Surrey, believes the pornography was downloaded by an employee and lodged an appeal through the European Court to have his conviction quashed.
‘I know I’m innocent. I know I’ve done nothing wrong and I know I’ve got evidence which proves that. I just can’t make the court accept that yet,’ he told the paper.
The consultant, who operates on an ad-hoc basis, also questioned whether he was supposed to check with every company he works with that they might be in the ‘public interest’.
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